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October 2021

The Defense of Rhetorical Hyperbole: How Is It Being Used (or Overused) in Today’s Polarized Environment?

Courts have long considered whether statements made in the context of heated political debate are protected as rhetorical hyperbole and opinion. But recent libel cases stemming from opinion shows hosted by partisans like Rachel Maddow, and on platforms such as Twitter, have seen the rhetorical hyperbole defense taking on new prominence. Have these cases gone too far or are they simply extending First Amendment protections to mediums where hyperbolic rhetoric is the norm?